This is a guest post from Barry Uhling. Barry uses this analogy when working with new sales reps. I found it to be refreshingly direct and right on point.
As a new sales person, you are always faced with the dilemma of: how do I get customers to talk to me or how can I open the door to discussion with potential new customers. The best way to do this is by being in their offices or schools on a consistent basis. This is the milk run!
How I came up with this philosophy was based on an AD that was a college basketball coach. During the spring and summer, they would have open gym and kids that were non-scholarship were encouraged to come to workouts and open gym. Every year, 20-30 guys would show up once in a while. Every year there was usually 1 kid that never missed a workout or open gym over the 5 month period. Guess what? This kid usually ended up getting playing time on his team and some sort of scholarship.
Treat calling on accounts just like the kid did showing up for workouts and open gym-show up regularly, have dedication, be attentive to the customers’ needs. In doing so, you will end up getting orders (scholarship) also.
I like to call it a milk run for clients that I am in front of on a regular basis. Just like milk that was delivered to homes on a regular basis years ago, we need to provide this quality and consistency in our service.
Barry’s thoughts relate directly back to my Planning Your Business in which you plan to be successful. Set up your schedule and do your Milk Run. Clients like this organized and consistent approach.
While your on your Milk Run, make sure you spend your time wisely and show up ready to sell your customer what he needs. The Account Management post discusses knowing your clients preferences and being ready to sell them what they need.